Zoo maps are usually the first maps that children see and learn to read. They are heavily illustrated with animals and the paths show clear directions to get from place to place. Kids learn that a map can help you to get where you want to go. Children also love the maps in zoo books and will trace their fingers as they plot their way around the zoo. These are a few of my favorite which are helpful to share before taking that field trip to the zoo.
Zoo Day – a First Experience Book
by Anne Rockwell (author) and Lizzy Rockwell (illustrator)
Simon and Schuster Picture book ages 4-8
Told from the viewpoint of a young boy, this book follows a family’s visit to the zoo. The map is well simple and easy for young children to read and understand.
My Visit to the Zoo
by Aliki (author and illustrator)
Harper Collins picture book ages 4-8
My Visit to the Zoo is a lush and beautiful book told through the narration of a girl hesitant to visit the zoo because she doesn’t like the idea of animals in cages. But, in this zoo, the animals live in large beautiful habitats where they are able to roam as they would in the wild. Lots of information is given about the animals and the different habitats where they are found. There is also information about endangered animals and explanations of how zoos are helping to keep species healthy. The index is accompanied by a world map showing where animals are found in the wild and their listings as endangered or vulnerable. The illustrations glow on the page. This is a book that a child will want to spend a long time reading and looking at each page.
The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo
by Laura Murray (author) and Mike Lowery (illustrator)
Random House picture book ages 5-8
The Gingerbread Man accompanies his school friends on a field trip to the zoo. He gets separated and has to find his way back while avoiding the animals that want to eat him. This book will make you (and the kids you’re reading it to) laugh out loud. Best of all, there are other books available in a series about this cheeky gingerbread man.
We love zoos! Here’s a photo of my beautiful niece, Shelby, who works at the Los Angeles Zoo in the education department. The flamingos love her!
Yesterday I shared maps on the topic of “Are we there yet?” Today I can say, “YES!” Thanks so much for joining me on this literary journey with maps in children’s literature. I hope you have enjoyed my April A to Z posts. I’ve really appreciated your comments and suggestions and have found many new blogs to follow. Happy trails to you – until we meet again!